‘Deprived of years of my life’: Winnipeg woman frustrated by long wait times for surgery – Winnipeg

A Winnipeg woman is frustrated by the long wait for her spinal fusion surgery and says it means she faces more than physical pain.

Gloria Ditchfield, 37, suffers from scoliosis and a 60% curvature of the spine.

« I have an S-shaped curve and it’s 60 degrees, so it’s pretty severe, » Ditchfield told Global News. « I’ve had it since I was 12. I didn’t have surgery at that age, so I’ve had chronic pain ever since. There were days when I could barely get out of bed so much. pain was intense.

Ditchfield has been waiting for the surgery, which is considered elective, for years.

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« They put me on the surgical waiting list and said ‘prepare for a long wait’…three to five years was kind of their playground, and now it’s been seven years, » she said.

For Ditchfield, waiting isn’t just about prolonging his physical pain, it’s also about delaying his life. She and her husband want to start a family, but she fears the pain of pregnancy with her scoliosis will be too severe.

« I’m 37 now, and if I had had surgery at 30 or 31 and recovered, (the) pregnancy issues wouldn’t be as bad as they are now, » she said. declared.

“My doctors basically say get pregnant anyway, like don’t even rely on the healthcare system, don’t rely on surgery, because they don’t believe in it. And it’s really heartbreaking to hear.

Click to play video: “Long wait times for surgeries persist despite elimination of pandemic-related backlogs: CIHI”

Long wait times for surgeries persist despite elimination of pandemic-related backlogs: CIHI

Long wait times for surgeries persist despite elimination of pandemic-related backlogs: CIHI – May 10, 2022

Ditchfield says she wanted to wait until after the procedure to have children because she fears the pregnancy will hurt her.

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« The problem I have is that if I sit down and eat a big meal, like eating a big meal, my back would hurt for hours until it was treated. And it’s kind of like a little taste of what it would be like if I got pregnant,” she said.

« I’m going to be in pain all the time, it’s going to be unbearable. I will no longer be able to take prescription medication. I do not want. I’m going to have to rely on the bath and the hot water bottles. It’s frightening. Like on the one hand, we are ready to have kids and I want to do that, but I also don’t want to put myself and my future child through so much pain and stress.

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“It’s just too scary for me and I don’t want to risk it, but it puts me in a horrible position because I want to have kids, we want to have a family so badly, and we’re stuck waiting.”

Ditchfield and her husband, Joshua Hastings, say they considered having the procedure performed in the United States, but it would cost around $100,000.

« It’s exhausting, » Hastings said. « It’s to the point where if we had the funds and weren’t tied down here, we would consider moving somewhere else where we would have a better chance of doing so in a reasonable time frame. »

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The province currently has an agreement with Sanford Health to have some Manitoba spine patients undergo their procedure in Fargo, North Dakota.

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Ditchfield says she was told her condition was too serious and the surgery was too complicated for her to travel south of the border for the procedure.

“Spinal surgery has been a problem for a long time. And a lot of the challenges are the big, complicated cases where it has to be done in health sciences where our human resources are the most acute issue right now,” said Manitoba Diagnostic & Surgical Task Force Chair Dr. Peter MacDonald. , at 680 CJOB on Wednesday.

« (There are) a lot of sad stories like that. When we deal with numbers you have to forget that there are patients and lived stories and people are affected by that on a personal basis and we We must always remember that the solution is not the same for everyone.

Ditchfield says the process is also impacting her anxiety and mental health.

« I kind of feel like a few years of my life were stolen from me because I waited, » she said.

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“And part of me is like, maybe I should have just gotten pregnant anyway and fucked everything up. But I made the decision to wait and I live with it and my anxiety got worse and I’m depressed and it’s hard. Every day is a hassle. »

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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